For the next week, I'll be recapping each Orlando City player's season for all player who played at least 100 MLS minutes per FBRef in 2022, starting from the least used player to the most used.
Up next is standout young midfielder César Araujo.
Araujo was quietly one of the best signing in MLS this season and one of the best players at Orlando City this year. The 21-year-old Uruguayan defensive midfielder came into the league and immediately established himself as a starting caliber No. 6 and a key figure in Orlando's team.
The midfielder played 2,458 minutes in league play and added a further six appearances in the US Open Cup. In that cup run, the Uruguayan occasionally popped up on the offensive end, scoring a pair of big goals.
Araujo became an undroppable presence in Orlando's midfield. He brought tenacity and energy defensively, helping clean up defensive mistakes and also showed flashes as an effective possession player. While not a dynamic passer, Araujo showed the ability to make smart and composed passes up the field.
The young midfielder also earned recognition league-wide, finishing No. 13 in the league's 22 Under 22 ranking of the top talents in Major League Soccer.
Araujo is a massive building block for Orlando City moving forward and the anchor of the midfield in the short term. The club parted ways with Sebas Mendez midseason, so the defensive midfield position is all Araujo.
The young Uruguayan was named to the preliminary World Cup roster for Uruguay, and while he's a long shot for Qatar, the fact that he's already on the fringes for one of the top national teams in the Americas is extremely intriguing for his future.
With another strong season and potentially some development to his game as he gains experience, Araujo could eventually be prime for a big transfer out of MLS.